One of the last remaining, active farms in Saratoga Springs will now belong to the community. Pitney Farm's well-known open fields and sporadically placed rustic, gray barns have become one of the most scenic backdrops within city limits.
While most farmlands are developed into commercial buildings and office space, the future for Pitney Farm's lands is looking lush and green. This past week, the Saratoga Springs City Council agreed to pay $1 million for the development rights to the farm, and there are some exciting potential plans in the works!
The Top Notch Tavern in West Galway reopened last fall at the site of what was originally (decades past) the West Galway Hotel. Current owner, James Palmateer, is the grandson of Doreen and David Palmateer, the original owners of the Top Notch Tavern who started it all, back in the 1960's.
After being sold, redefined and now restored to its original glory, remnants of the Top Notch Tavern's rich history are finally whispering from the walls.
Dating back to the Civil War Era, this venue was built as a stagecoach stop and hotel in the 1860's. Civil War cavalry would often stop for a rest there!
It became The Top Notch Tavern after Doreen purchased it with her husband David in 1968, making their home there and running a small bar and grill operation that quickly grew in popularity.
A new attraction at Saratoga Race Course this year gives local racing honorees a place of their own: The Saratoga Walk of Fame. The new structure houses plaques for individuals who have been influential in the advancement of Saratoga Race Course, making significant contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing.
"The Saratoga Walk of Fame is our way of acknowledging and recognizing these individuals for their dedication to the sport with a place to publicly enshrine their accomplishments," said New York Racing Association CEO and President Chris Kay. "We hope our guests will enjoy Saratoga's newest attraction which is designed to highlight the contributions of our industry's leading pioneers and achievers for decades to come."
The Saratoga Walk of Fame is a new covered structure, located near the carousel, that features an historic design in the classic Saratoga style, right down to the iconic turrets crowning the roof.
Even in its first year, the attraction will already have 6 plaques on display, with 2 more lined up to be added this season. This because, although the Saratoga Walk of Fame is new this year, it is the culmination of a tradition that actually began a couple years ago.
With Saratoga's continued growth, nobody is denying the growing need for downtown parking solutions. There is some disagreement, however, in the best way to go about adding it.
The City Center has proposed plans for a 5-story High Rock paid-parking garage to replace the free parking lot behind the City Center. With the capacity to hold 480 vehicles, this new $10.4 million structure would be single use, offering parking only, which many citizens feel doesn't make economic sense for Saratoga.
"We continue to look at our project, and are assessing the design and components to see what it is we can do to be responsive, if possible," City Center President Mark Baker was quoted by the Times Union. "What we have proposed to date is not the finished product."
Opponents of the current proposed plan argue a giant concrete parking garage and connecting pedestrian bridge over Maple Ave would be an eyesore misaligned with the historical integrity of the city when that space could be better utilized while still adding much-needed parking.
Citizens discuss High Rock parking at public forum, photo courtesy of Citizens for High Rock, used with permission